Consumer Expectations to Reshape the Internet
August 10, 2023
Share this

Consumer expectations will reshape the needs and economics of the internet, according to the Cisco Broadband Survey based on a survey of consumers in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and South Africa).

79% of survey participants rank broadband as critical national infrastructure

People in EMEA are rethinking what they rely on the internet for, balancing classic demands for speed and reliability, with the intensifying needs of rising eco-consciousness, secure cloud infrastructure, and the consumerisation of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) connecting our devices, from smart cars to home appliances. This has led to 79% of survey participants ranking broadband as critical national infrastructure, escalating the need for the technology industry to respond to these asks and accelerate the journey towards a more sustainable, secure internet for the future.

The report shows more than 60% of consumers in EMEA expect to connect cars, appliances, energy and water to the internet, and broadband networks must scale to support this.

Increased dependence on broadband for everyday tasks, however, means that while speed is still the main priority for upgrades (40% of respondents), security is now a close second (38% of respondents).

Priority: Security

The emergence of hybrid work and the ever-increasing blur between the professional and personal lives of employees brings new risks into the home. Despite most consumers using their broadband for tasks like banking and work, passwords are still the most popular way (53%) that survey respondents protect home networks and devices; only a quarter have switched on their router's firewall. This is despite previous Cisco research revealing that 57% of consumers worry about cybercriminals hacking their devices.

Priority: IOT

As the number of IoT devices online grows from billions to trillions, so does the demand for bandwidth and processing power to analyse all the data produced.

According to the survey, there's no sign of this slowing down. Consumers are instead embracing the shift toward a smarter digital life. A majority already have, or expect to have, their cars (67%), lights (74%), appliances (71%), energy (76%) and water (64%) connected.

More than half of consumers surveyed (54%) indicated feeling positive about new ways to connect their homes and lives to the internet. This is despite a majority (63%) saying that the cost-of-living crisis has changed the way they spend money on digital services: 21% have reported moving to a lower cost broadband package and 16% have cancelled streaming services.

"The old technology adage of 'faster, cheaper, better' has not been relevant for a long time. It's now about simplifying solutions and building networks that can fuel global connectivity and economic growth, facilitating and protecting the digitalization and automation of everyday activities, all without losing sight of our impact on the future," said Gordon Thomson, Vice President Service Provider — EMEA, Cisco.

Priority: Sustainability

Sustainability is also a key driver of consumer choice with 77% of respondents willing to pay more for broadband with a lower carbon footprint.

The carbon-cost of broadband connectivity is a top priority for consumers. The survey revealed that 65% of consumers in EMEA are now concerned about the carbon footprint of their broadband, with young people aged 18-24 the most concerned (73%).

In addition, 77% said they would be willing to pay more for sustainable broadband, with around a quarter prepared to pay a price premium of more than 20%. This supports a wider market trend, shown in a 2019 survey by Nielsen and a 2022 survey by Globescan, revealing widespread consumer awareness around the environmental impact of the products they use and a demand for companies to step up and mitigate negative impacts on the planet.

Methodology: The Cisco Broadband Survey is based on a survey of 21,629 workers across 12 countries: UK, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, Poland, Spain, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, UAE and the Netherlands. It was completed during January and February 2023. The sample included respondents based in every region of each country, who either work full-time remotely; full-time in an office; hybrid, between home and the office; or on the frontline. The poll was conducted by independent research consultancy Censuswide, who abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society — which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

Share this

The Latest

September 21, 2023

Companies implementing observability benefit from increased operational efficiency, faster innovation, and better business outcomes overall, according to 2023 IT Trends Report: Lessons From Observability Leaders, a report from SolarWinds ...

September 20, 2023

IT leaders are driving an increasing number of automation initiatives as a way to stay competitive, reduce costs and scale as they navigate an unpredictable social and economic environment, according to the 2023 State of Automation in IT survey conducted by Jitterbit ...

September 19, 2023

Customer loyalty is changing as retailers get increasingly competitive. More than 75% of consumers say they would end business with a company after a single bad customer experience. This means that just one price discrepancy, inventory mishap or checkout issue in a physical or digital store, could have customers running out to the next store that can provide them with better service. Retailers must be able to predict business outages in advance, and act proactively before an incident occurs, impacting customer experience ...

September 18, 2023
Digital transformation is key to ensuring companies keep up with the competitive market landscape. Putting digital at the core of a business can significantly reduce operating expenses and inefficiencies. However, this process often means changing the way internal teams work with one another. To help with the transition, this blog offers chief experience officers (CXOs) advice on how to lead a successful digital transformation project ...
September 14, 2023

Earlier this year, New Relic conducted a study on observability ... The 2023 Observability Forecast reveals observability's impact on the lives of technical professionals and businesses' bottom lines. Here are 10 key takeaways from the forecast ...

September 13, 2023
On September 10, MGM Resorts experienced what it called a "cybersecurity issue" that had a major impact on the company's systems, showing how cyberattacks can bring down applications, ultimately causing problems for a company in many ways ...
September 12, 2023

Only 33% of executives are "very confident" in their ability to operate in a public cloud environment, according to the 2023 State of CloudOps report from NetApp. This represents an increase from 2022 when only 21% reported feeling very confident ...

September 11, 2023

The majority of organizations across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) breached over the last year had personally identifiable information (PII) compromised, but most have not yet modified their data management policies, according to the Cybersecurity and PII Report from ManageEngine ...

September 07, 2023

A large majority of organizations employ more than one cloud automation solution, and this practice creates significant challenges that are resulting in delays and added costs for businesses, according to Why companies lose efficiency and compliance with cloud automation solutions from Broadcom ...

September 06, 2023

Companies have historically relied on tools that warn IT teams when their digital systems are experiencing glitches or attacks. But in an age where consumer loyalty is fickle and hybrid workers' Digital Employee Experience (DEX) is paramount for productivity, companies cannot afford to retroactively deal with IT failures that slow down employee productivity ...